Where I Write
As I write this blog I’m at a writer’s retreat in the mountains of North Carolina. I’m in a beautiful, natural setting, the closest town is 25 minutes away down a steep and winding road and the internet and phone access is limited. I’m surrounded by 120 other writers. We are here to create our own work but also collaborate, support and inspire one another. This is a perfect place to write and I’m grateful for the opportunity to be here. It helps my creativity immensely to have time away from the daily responsibilities of life to focus on my writing. My two favorite places for retreat are here at WildAcres and at Mepkin Abbey monastery on the Cooper River in South Carolina. The ideas and inspiration garnered from my time away sustain me for many weeks to come.
In my real life, I live in Oriental, N.C., the setting of my novel Hungry Mother Creek. Oriental is where the Neuse River empties into the Pamlico Sound and water is everywhere. You can’t drive more then a few miles without crossing a bridge over river, creek or marsh. We live on the water and my favorite place to write is on our deck. Nature is my muse and a recurrent theme in my writing so being outside is important to me.
From my writing chair on the deck
I watch rabbits and turtles
venture out of the undergrowth beside the creek to eat the clover
in our grass. I see squirrels scampering in the Live Oaks
that line the water.
Sea gulls, Osprey, Hawks
and all types of song birds
with their flight patterns
and along with the insects,
provide background music for my writing.
On the water
the commercial fishermen empty their crab pots,
the mullet jump in their version of a happy dance
and if I’m lucky the dolphin will swim by in search of lunch. Some writers like the distraction of
a coffee shop to write,
I prefer the distraction of nature.
I will jot down ideas on my computer or a note pad if I’m inspired during the day but only get substantial writing done when close to nature. When the weather is too cold, wet or windy to write outside, I sit in our sun room which offers the same view as the deck. I always crack the sliding glass door just a bit to allow in some of the sounds and smells of the natural world.
room darkening curtains, a favorite chair.
I prefer the play of light on the water,
the smell of the earth,
the birdsong and the breeze
fluttering my papers.